(CBS) — Most of us don’t look forward to going to the doctor, but what if your doctor came to you?
And what if it was free?
CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey says that’s what happening for nearly 3,000 Chicago public school students.
William Noble, a sixth-grader at Lavizzo Elementary School, is getting a physical exam. He didn’t have to go far, just a few steps outside his school, into a mobile van health clinic.
“Instead of mom having to take off work or mom having to take the kid out of school to come to the clinic, guess what? We come to them now,” says Dr. Larverne Barnes.
Barnes says she gives kids vaccines and physicals, and treats everything from asthma to diabetes to eczema. It’s all at no cost to the kids and their families.
The new clinic on wheels visits six Chicago Public Schools buildings, all on the Far South Side.
TCA, a Chicago community health center, used money made possible from the Affordable Care Act to buy the van.
“The need was so huge and we saw this opportunity. We said why not get a mobile medical van?” says Veronica Clarke. “That way, we could service more students.”
Clarke hopes to expand the program. There are several other schools on a waiting list hoping the van stops outside their doors, too.
Dr. Barnes says she tries to see at least 12 students during each stop and the van visits each of the schools about once a month.